"We have a backstory and culture of vibrancy that is a story itching to be told.”

Wayne State’s Indian Students Association is hosting its annual culture show titled "Jashan: The Spirit of the Circus" on March 4 at 5 p.m.

Event organizers said the purpose of the event is to bring Indian culture to life while simultaneously playing a role in assisting educational development in India.

Mrudhula Tankasala, an accounting major at the Mike Ilitch School of Business and one of four culture show members of ISA, explained that “Jashan” means celebration and ISA wanted to incorporate a celebratory light into the circus-themed dance event.

Each dance that will be performed will include influences from a word that pertains to the central theme, such as “fun” and “jovial.” These words will be represented through vibrant and colorful costumes, exciting choreography and multilingual songs performed by other members of ISA, she said.

Tankasala said "Jashan" is an important and culturally rich event.

“I think it's highly important, especially in today's world, because our culture can be forgotten in the generations brought up here and I think it's our responsibilities to make sure that our culture is also profound in this country,” she said.

“It is a country that's full of people from all over the world so I find it important that while I am an American, I'm also still very close to my Indian roots and there's no better way to show that than showcase Indian style dancing.”

Tankasala also explained that the event will be taking the proceeds and donating them to the Nanhi Kali organization, a foundation that helps underprivileged girls in India receive an education. The Nanhi Kali website said that it costs $50 to send a girl to school from first through fifth grade and $70 to support a girl from sixth through 10th grade.

Danyoul Yamin, vice president of ISA and fourth-year biology major, said the importance of the show is not only focused on its reach to assist with education internationally, but also to “demonstrate to the community the diversity that Wayne State has to offer.”

“We're more than just students who go to class," he said. "We have a backstory and culture of vibrancy that is a story itching to be told.” 

The anticipation for the event is growing, said ISA president, economics major and pre-medical student, Siri Sarvepalli.

“I hope our show gives people a better idea of what the Indian heritage really involves and creates an interest in exploring other cultures that may be very different from an individual's own culture,” she said. “Because WSU has such a large Indian-American student population, I hope our show also helps our members feel more in touch with their roots.”

"Jashan: The Spirit of the Circus" will take place March 4 at the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts located at 350 Madison Ave. in Detroit.

Doors open at 5 p.m. with performances starting at 6:30 p.m. Students with a OneCard can pay $12 while general admission is $15.

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